Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth believes in the
power of breastfeeding to create healthy and strong children, and
has designed its maternity care to fully support new moms in
breastfeeding their newborns. Studies show that breastfeeding
gives infants the most complete nutrition possible because breast
milk provides the optimal mix of nutrients and antibodies
necessary for babies to thrive.
Because of the hospital's efforts to protect, support and promote
breastfeeding, the World Health Organization and UNICEF have
recognized Texas Health Fort Worth as "Baby-Friendly."
Making Breastfeeding a Success
Texas Health Fort Worth offers
the following recommendations for breastfeeding success:
Breastfeed Your Baby in the First Hour after
Most babies are alert soon after delivery. Research demonstrates
the importance of breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact between
mother and baby within the first hours after birth. Inform your
family and visitors before you deliver that the priority is for
baby and mom to have quiet time together after delivery. This may
mean that their visit may have to wait until you get to
Put Your Baby Skin-to-Skin Before and/or After
After birth, place your baby on your chest and cover both of you
with a blanket. This will help to soothe the baby and help
stabilize his/her body temperature, pulse and breathing. The
American Academy of Pediatrics states that a healthy newborn
should be placed and stay in direct skin-to-skin contact until
the first feeding is completed. This is also a wonderful way for
Dad to bond with the baby.
Feed on Demand
Get to know your baby by learning his/her hunger cues such as lip
smacking, mouth opening and bringing his/her hand to mouth. Feed
the baby early when he/she shows these signs of hunger. Crying is
a late hunger cue; the goal is to feed before crying begins.
Babies cluster feed, often feeding every 1-3 hours or 8-12 times
during a 24-hour period. Feeding often will help bring your milk
in. If your baby is sleepy, wake him/her every three hours.
Make This Time Special
Realize that breastfeeding and bonding with your newborn may
sometimes require you to limit visitors. Your family and friends
will understand that this is an important and intimate time for
your growing family.
Let Your Baby Room-in
The nurses at Texas Health Fort Worth want to minimize separation
of mom and baby, which is why rooming in is promoted. By having
your baby with you both day and night, you are able to learn
his/her feeding cues. Nurses will check on you regularly to
provide support and assistance.
Research shows that babies feed more frequently at night in the
first few weeks and that mothers who have their baby fed in the
nursery often have a delayed milk supply. In order for you to
respond to your baby's needs at night, breastfeeding mothers are
discouraged from taking sleeping pills. You may want to ask a
family member to stay with you overnight to assist you. This will
be especially important if you had a Cesarean delivery. Limit
visitors during the day to allow you to take a much needed
Avoid Pacifiers and Artificial Nipples
They may interfere with optimal breastfeeding and the baby's
suckling. If a baby is showing feeding cues, put him/her to the
breast. This stimulation is important in the establishment of
your milk supply. Pacifiers are not provided by the hospital.
Do Not Supplement with Formula unless Recommended by Your
Your colostrum is all that your baby needs in the first few days
of life. Your baby's stomach is very small and colostrum comes in
small, concentrated amounts to provide just the right balance of
carbohydrates, proteins and antibodies in an easy-to-digest form.
A full-term baby's stomach is only the size of a marble on day
one; it will grow larger every day! You will want to count your
baby's wet and dirty diapers to be sure they are getting enough.
Your baby will have some weight loss (yes, loss - it is
expected that your baby will lose some weight after delivery
before starting to gain). Your baby should be back to his or her
birth weight by 2 weeks.
Be Patient and Let Us Help!
Texas Health Fort Worth is committed to supporting your family's
decision to breastfeed. During your hospital stay, our nurses and
lactation consultants will offer instruction on breastfeeding.
Lactation consultants are available to assist you if you are
experiencing any difficulty.
The hospital's Breastfeeding
Resource Center and Boutique offers lactation consultant
services, rental and purchase of breast pumps, and breastfeeding
accessories and supplies, including"
Services - The center is staffed by registered nurses who are
internationally board-certified lactation consultants. They can
assess a mother and baby's progress, making recommendations
that can prolong and enhance the breastfeeding experience. To
make an outpatient appointment with a lactation consultant,
please call 281-250-BABY (2229).
- Rental or Purchase of Breast Pumps - The center stocks
hospital-grade, double electric breast pumps for rent as well as
a variety of breast pumps for purchase.
- Breastfeeding Accessories and Supplies - Browse
through our online shopping resource
The Breastfeeding Resource Center and Boutique is located at 1301
Pennsylvania Avenue on the ground floor of the Bloxom tower.
Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday;
closed on Sunday.
Questions? Please call 817-250-BABY.